Jose Angel Moreno won a stay today, hours before his scheduled execution for the abduction and fatal shooting of a San Antonio college student more than two decades ago.Next week, Charles Smith, 41, is scheduled be executed in Texas.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered further review of mitigating evidence on a 5-3 vote.
His attorneys argued that Moreno's jury was unable to consider evidence of a troubled childhood and other mitigating issues that could have influenced them to give Moreno a life sentence instead of death.
The appeal was based on a Supreme Court decision two weeks ago in three other Texas cases where justices ruled instructions to jurors were improper, attorney Scott Sullivan said.
The court had voted 4-4 on the appeal Wednesday night, with one judge abstaining, meaning the request to stop the execution was "neither granted nor denied," Sullivan said. He asked the court to reconsider, and the request was granted today.
Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is a non-profit organization with the primary goal of mobilizing statewide support for a moratorium on executions in Texas. Significant death penalty reform in Texas, including a moratorium on executions, is a viable goal if the public is educated on the death penalty system and is encouraged to contact their elected representatives to urge passage of moratorium legislation.
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